The doctrines of peacekeeping, justice and the responsibility to protect are all at the heart of UN efforts to protect civilians from the devastating effects of warfare. The ambition to eradicate cultures of impunity, protect civilians and bring peace to warring communities is a laudable one, but all too often we are falling short of these goals. When we look around us today we see horrendous abuses in Syria, the Central African Republic, and numerous other states where civilians are bearing the brunt of conflict. And we are still struggling to reconcile the sometimes competing aspirations of peace and justice. What does this say about these three doctrines? Are they now showing the flaws in their original conception and formulation, or is the root of the problem one of insufficient implementation?
Louise Arbour became President & CEO of the International Crisis Group in 2009 after serving as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ms. Arbour began an academic career in 1974 at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto and was subsequently appointed judge to the Supreme Court of Ontario (1987) and the Court of Appeal for Ontario (1990), as well as President of a Commission of inquiry for an investigation into the Prison for Women in Kingston, Ontario (1995). In 1996, Ms. Arbour was appointed Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. After three years as Prosecutor, she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. Ms. Arbour has received many honorary degrees and is affiliated with various distinguished professional societies and organizations.